It’s a strategy that has been adopted by virtually every U.S. presidential candidate in modern history: During the primaries, candidates appeal to their base, but after capturing a party’s nomination, campaigns move to the political center to win over undecided voters.
But in this unconventional cycle, Joe Biden is being forced to throw conventional campaigning to the wind. Instead of positioning himself as a centrist, Biden is choosing to move further to the left than ever before to satisfy the demands of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and his radical base of dissatisfied progressives and “Bernie bro” socialists who hate the Democratic Party establishment almost as much as they do free-market capitalism.
On May 13, Biden and former political rival Comrade Bernie announced the creation of several “unity task forces,” which will work together to help reshape the agendas of the Democratic Party and the Biden presidential campaign in six key areas: climate change, criminal justice reform, education, economic growth, health care and immigration.
About 40 percent of the members of these task forces were handpicked by Sanders, a self-described socialist, and they serve as a who’s who list of some of the nation’s most socialistic policy wonks and activists.
Co-chairing the Climate Change Task Force is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the leading voice behind the Green New Deal, the most radical, dangerous, destructive policy proposal in modern American history.
The Green New Deal — which some analysts say would cost more than $90 trillion — would not only destroy the vast majority of the U.S. energy industry and force every American to purchase more expensive, less-reliable wind and solar energy, it would also impose a slew of new progressive and socialist policies that have absolutely nothing to do with climate change, like free college tuition and basic income programs.
Also serving on the Climate Change Task Force is Varshini Prakash, one of the co-creators of AOC’s Green New Deal and the co-founder of the socialist Sunrise Movement, an organization that leans so far to the left that it protested against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for not adopting enough of the group’s radical climate proposals in 2018.
Serving on the Economy Task Force is Ohio State professor Darrick Hamilton, a key Sanders adviser and one of the nation’s leading voices for a federal jobs guarantee, which the American Action Forum estimates could cost $6.8 trillion to $44.6 trillion over 10 years.
Radical professor Stephanie Kelton is also a member of the Economy Task Force. Kelton is the former senior adviser to Sanders’ presidential campaign and the face of the Modern Monetary Theory movement in the United States.
According to MMT supporters like Kelton, national debts and deficits don’t matter so long as the government has the power to print its own currency and control the economy through a massive bureaucratic structure.
The very same democratic socialists who Biden argued were too radical for U.S. voters are helping to create policy for his campaign,
That’s why Kelton supports printing trillions upon trillions of dollars to pay for far-left ideas like the Green New Deal and a federal job guarantee, rather than raising taxes, which MMT advocates often see as a tool to control economic decision-making and punish undesirable businesses, not a necessary part of paying for government services.
Co-chairing the Health Care Task Force is Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., one of the leaders of the far-left Congressional Progressive Caucus and the sponsor of “Medicare-for-all» legislation that is even more expensive and far-reaching than Sanders’ single-payer plan — as hard as that might be to imagine.
Although it’s not uncommon for presidential candidates who have won their party’s nomination to bring in members of other campaigns in the run up to a general election, it’s highly unusual for a presidential candidate to agree to have his or her campaign platform dramatically altered by former political rivals in such a public and remarkable way just months before Election Day.
And it’s an especially surprising development in the case of Biden, who beat his more socialistic and progressive party opponents by positioning himself as the party’s lone electable “moderate.”
Now, the very same democratic socialists who Biden argued were too radical for U.S. voters are helping to create policy for his campaign, and they’ll even reportedly serve as members of his presidential transition team, where they’ll have significant input over key policies and help Biden choose members of his cabinet.
The reason for Biden’s shift to the far left is entirely due to the work of Sanders, who has used his bully pulpit in the progressive and socialist movements to force Biden into agreeing to this ridiculous arrangement.
The Democratic Party’s voters and leaders decided months ago that they didn’t want a socialist candidate representing them in what might be the most important election of the past half-century. But true to form, Comrade Bernie doesn’t care what people actually want, only what he deems to be good for them, which, in this case, is another toxic dose of socialism.
The only one who should be happier than Sanders about the new “unity task forces” is President Trump, who will be able to use Biden’s shift to the left to show voters in key swing states that the Biden administration would be far from moderate when it comes time to actually govern.
A vote for Biden is a vote for bringing socialist radicals into the White House, and it seems hard to believe that this will sit well with blue-collar Democrats in states like Wisconsin and Michigan.
So, as bizarre as it might sound, by pushing the Biden campaign closer to progressive and socialist policies, Sanders has actually become a political asset for Trump.
Some might be tempted to write off these task forces as little more than political theater, but if it’s true that Biden isn’t planning on listening to any of the recommendations produced by these committees, then he would have been better off leaving the party’s socialists out in the cold from the very start.
The only thing that could alienate the far-left wing of the Democratic Party more than stomaching a Biden nomination would be to disingenuously promise them a seat at the table only to yank it away before any meaningful changes are adopted.
It seems apparent, then, that Biden has every intention of moving further to the left than he already has over the course of the present election cycle. It’s a decision that could cost him the election if the American people — who rightfully remain skeptical of socialism — realize that the campaign of Mr. Moderate Joe Biden has become a quasi-socialist wolf in sheep’s clothing, however reluctant the transformation might have been.